Carneiro M.; Almeida A.; Tavakoli M.

IEEE Sensors Journal


Electroencephalography (EEG) has a wide range of applications in medical diagnosis, and novel form of Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) for controlling prosthetic implants, wheelchairs, and home appliances in various forms of paralysis. However, the current EEG setups are composed of many wires hanging down from the system, and individual electrodes that must be set manually, which is time-consuming. As a result, the overall system is neither comfortable, nor aesthetically appealing. Here, we introduce for the first time, a comfortable textile-based EEG headband system that is soft, conformal to the skin, and comfortable. We present materials and methods for fabrication of multi-layer stretchable e-textile, that interfaces the human epidermis from one side through printed electrodes, and interfaces a rigid PCB island on the second layer. We as well demonstrate a method that allows creation of VIAs (vertical interconnect access) between the layers, using a CO2 laser. All Electrodes are integrated into the headband, and thus there is no need for individual electrode placement, and individual wiring. By screen printing a home-made conductive stretchable ink, patient-specific EEG headbands can be tailor made considering the optimal positioning of the electrodes for each patient. We show that these printed electrodes benefit from a very low skin-electrode impedance, comparable to gold standard Ag/AgCl, or gold cup electrodes, thanks to the high surface area silver flakes used in this work. The e-textile headband interfaces with an EEG acquisition device that captures, amplifies, and transmits the data to an external mobile phone or a PC. Furthermore, the integrated amplification in the textile and the use of an EMF rejection layer on top of the electrodes were shown to reduce the unwanted EM noise that is picked up by the system. We as well show application of the developed headband for usage in Human Machine Interfaces and Sleep Data Acquisition. Altogether, this device is step toward wider use of EEG acquisition devices for daily-use applications.